meIt cannot be, no, certainly and for the good of humanity, it cannot be, that there are people who aspire to write like Julian Fellowes. It just can’t be. And yet. Now Bridgerton (Netflix) has arrived, suddenly into our lives, and as the minutes, hours and eight episodes of the new costume drama progress, the thought becomes more and more inescapable.
For Bridgerton it is the story, set in 1813 Bath, of the Regency rivalry between the noble Bridgerton family and the noble Featherington family, each of whom is eager to be seen as the noblest of the manor families and to dominate primarily lordly. over the rest of Regency Bath. Regency of high society. We are in the period of the Regency, by the way, and Bath. I, like the writers of the show, want to make this very clear.
Those writers, most important of them Chris Van Dusen, which is (is he “credited” with the correct word?) With the creation of the series, which is based on the romance novel series of Jane Austen’s superfan, Julia Quinn, they show all the signs of having seen too many. episodes of Downton Abbey. Like learning too many facts before an exam and getting everything else out of your mind, that final, fateful hour in the company of the Crawleys has squeezed everything the writer once knew about dialogue, language, and character and left him alone. with the echoes of Fellowes ringing, as you might say, in his mental ears.
How else do we explain the abundance of lines that look like English, sound like English but are not actually English, and certainly not English as it is spoken? Lines like: “It has been said that of all live or dead dogs, a woman who scribbles is the most canine!” And but! As we all know, the brighter a lady glows, the faster she can burn. “Not if you haven’t already established that she glows as a result of conflagrations that we don’t all! Lines like:” Everyone tries to avoid the ghastly condition known as spinster At the time, I was leaning completely towards the condition known as the heavy drinker myself. Because when nothing matters, nothing matters, you know?
Anyway. Let’s go back to the state of the plot. It’s insignificant. Everyone who has daughters is preparing them to present them to Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) at court. Lady Featherington (Polly Walker, still a bomb, a very bomb) is tying her daughters Penelope (Nicola Coughlan of the Derry Girls), Prudence (Bessie Carter) and Philippa (Harriet Cains) in their corsets and no doubt inspiring thousands of fanfics while she goes. The Dowager Countess Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) is doing the same with her brood. His hopes for breakthrough are pinned on the dainty Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and at first it seems like he’s bet on the right corseted horse. Penelope faints in front of the Queen (“I haven’t been able to avoid the condition of Improper Crumpled Pile at the Royal Character’s feet,” she screams as she falls. No, she doesn’t. I can’t speak for the first time. Draft) but the beaming Daphne is anointed with a kiss. “Perfect, my dear,” says the Queen. “And in The Vertical condition!” No, again, not the second bit. But …
Then everything goes to the status of marijuana for everyone. Daphne’s older brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), acting deputy Lord Bridgerton now that his father has died and no one on American television seems to be quite sure how the inheritance works, is overzealous in his protection of her and discourages her. all suitors except one particularly determined man who makes Collins look like Mr. Darcy. Her untouchable status becomes the staple feature of a slanderous new newsletter written by “Lady Whistledown” (Julie Andrews in voice-over, adding a Georgian Gossip Girl twist to the whole thing, and letting the record show that if someone wants to fully participate in such an effort, I would be completely here for that).
Lady W’s other favorite subject is the newcomer to Featherington’s house; the girls’ cousin, Marina, who outshines the trio in every way and whose star rises as fast as Daphne falls, but who hides a secret more and more of her own. Dum-dum-daaaah!
Throw in the arrival of the handsome Duke of Hastings, an abandoned mistress (by Anthony), and there you have it. A program. I felt that at the end of the first episode I had reveled in his presence long enough, and yet … and yet … Was there not, after all, room for one more? And maybe another after that? This isn’t a feeling I’ve ever had about Downton, so maybe Bridgerton is … better? Or am I worse now? I find myself in the condition of incapable of judgment.
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